The UK’s national funding authority, Innovate UK, has recently launched a £50 million (approx. €64m) scheme on emerging and potentially disruptive technologies. This new four year strategy seeks to identify early-stage technologies that can lead to new products, processes and services that will give the UK centre stage in the global market of breakthrough technology innovation.

Taking into consideration the strong research base of the UK, as well as its advantageous position globally, such an investment is a logical step in exploiting the potential of UK’s research sector. Business and academia are invited to collaborate in order to identify and develop these ground-breaking technologies, helping simultaneously to bring them closer to the market.

In the emerging technologies & industries strategy seven areas of potentially emerging technologies have been singled out – synthetic biology, energy efficient computing, energy harvesting, non-animal technologies, emerging imaging technologies, graphene and quantum technologies. The pipeline will be regularly refreshed, though, in order to incorporate new promising ideas that could revolutionise a technology sphere and create multi-billion industries.

Innovate UK, through its funding instruments and expertise, has always supported innovation that is close to the market and has evident commercial results; but with this strategy it aims to capitalise on the unexplored areas of technological advancement by almost doubling its investment. While through the creation of an elaborate plan of support to these technologies -identification/evaluation of technologies, creation of a coordinated programme, accelerating the journey to the market and building critical mass- it aspires to introduce new word class industrial potentials within the next four years.